Paso Robles is seeking local churches or religious leaders to hold opening prayer
PASO ROBLES — The City of Paso Robles is seeking local churches or religious leaders to hold an invocation at the beginning of each City Council meeting. The meetings take place at 6:30 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of each month.
An invocation prayer is an opening prayer for a church service or meeting. Invocations are usually around one minute long and are written at the speaker’s discretion.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2014 that sectarian invocations do not automatically violate the U.S. Constitution. The city has always opened City Council meetings with a prayer — the Supreme Court ruling encouraged the city to expand the tradition by inviting church leaders of all denominations in the community to take turns leading the invocation.
The practice has been well-received by local churches and city leaders would like to see even more local churches, temples, and synagogues participate and bring their own brand of spirituality to each meeting.
“We would love to have more participation from church leaders of all denominations in the community represented during our invocations,” says City Clerk Melissa Boyer. “In the past year, we have representatives from local Christian, Episcopal, and Baptist churches, plus Atheists United taking turns doing invocations. We would like to broaden the scope of participants and have representatives from any interested local temples, synagogues, churches, or other faith-based organizations participate as well.”
Please contact the City Clerk at (805) 237-3888 or at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would be interested in leading the council invocation and staff will provide you with options for available dates to serve the city in this unique way.